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There’s no problem at Man United…
I’m sure Ian knows this as a regular contributor to this website but here goes – the English deadline to buy players 8th August, deadline to sell to rest of Europe 2nd September. So if Utd headlines currently are focused around maybe buying a central defender and the midfielders we rather ruthlessly have already replaced then it is dare I say it a sensible thing, something usually not associated with Utd.
This might be also be why the only rumoured out right now is Lukaku he could be used to finance a new face or may require replacing. If he does leave that will be four players in six months, how many do you want gone before you call it a cull?
Don’t deceive yourselves Jones and Smalling aren’t leaving this window; Young will leave next year and has already been replaced as a first teamer barring injury/loss of form by Shaw the rest of those likely to leave can stay on the back-burner will probably leave as it becomes clearer they are unlikely to play a part. No one in the UK is going to want Rojo and Darmain for instance, suitors are more likely to come from Europe.
Don’t get me wrong Utd are probably still going to suffer but it’s a bit too early for this article.
Why don’t clubs agree to a basic salary cap?
Many top clubs across Europe all seem to have a similar issue this summer, that is moving on unwanted players to make way for new signings. Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal and PSG to name a few all have players that for one reason or another they can’t get off their books.
Mainly it is due to the buying clubs not willing to or being unable to compete with the player’s current contract and the player in question having no incentive to take a massive pay cut. A possible solution would be if teams across Europe would, in unison switch to a more bonus-led wage structure for their players. If clubs could all agree to a basic wage salary cap but with a highly incentivised bonus payment plan it could hand back some power to the clubs in terms if offloading unwanted players.
If clubs working alongside FIFA/UEFA/FA agree not to break £40,000 a week for a players basic wage but on top of that each club had free reign to offer whatever they wanted in bonus payments that would be paid based on thresholds being met i.e an extra £100k if a player in in a match day squad, and extra £50k for a starting line up etc. Very quickly players could be making the same as they are now once they remain in the first team, but once they are no longer part of the first-team’s plans their wages drop to a level where they are better served moving to somewhere they are more likely to play.
Let’s take Ozil as an example, reportedly on £350k a week. Realistically Ozil would struggle to get £200k at another club, for him it makes sense to sit tight and hope the next manager to come in sees him as an important part of his plans. Under the new system interested clubs aren’t competing with his wage of £350k but his basic wage of £40k and the incentive for the player is to move not only to play regularly but to earn as much as possible as well.
While there are many issues to iron out with the theory and obviously this wouldn’t happen overnight but over a few seasons as new contracts were agreed, the potential benefits for clubs would make it a no-brainer for me.
Why Monchi was not answer for Arsenal
Thanks to Harry De Cosomo for the round-up on Monchi’s doings since wisely avoiding the ‘Club’ formerly known as Arsenal.
The complicating factor, though, in my annoyance at missing out on him is a Roma-supporting friend who declared that he is over-rated, an issue which was briefly addressed in the piece. The same issue was also sort of implied in the contrast between Sevilla and the Spanish big three, i.e. whether his methods translate to ‘bigger’ clubs.
The question is what the appropriate comparison for Arsenal is. In my current pessimistic state, I’m inclined to say we are a club with (at least) Atletico-level resources off the pitch with (at most) Sevilla-level ambition on the pitch. And the market is determined to milk Arsenal for the horrible decisions that got it to this point.
So it will get charged first-team prices for squad players, and superstar prices for first team players who would barely get it to fourth. The moment Monchi (or Mislintat for that matter) identify someone who would help, the price is likely to spiral upward, and cut into the value added of any genuine talent identifier.
The club would probably be better off hiring a visa/immigration fixer and cutting out the middle man (or, you know, spending some….) . Monchi, as good as he is, can’t dig them out of this mess.
Arsenal need to reconnect with the fans
I’m an Arsenal fan. I have been my whole life and like the majority of football fans, I followed the club my Dad supports.
From seeing some of the best Arsenal sides, 1989 league winners, right through to our Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona, to where we are now.
As a kid in the 80’s and early 90’s, football was obviously very different. Players like Tony Adams, Merse, Rocky, Mickey Thomas, Paul Davis, Wrighty and so on, would give 100% every game and had a real connection with the supporters.
Even the likes of Gus Ceasar or an Ian Selly would still have the love of the supporters as there was always a connection. You felt like the club, the players, the manager, all cared about the fans. I’ve been very fortunate to see so many great moments at Highbury through the years and to me, the very foundation of Arsenal Football Club started to change as soon as we left Highbury. You could feel it, that connection and identity.
It’s not just about the stadium of course, excellent as it is.
We feel it now more than ever. Wenger was our last link to our Arsenal.
In my life time as a paying supporter, I’ve seen rough times. The 1993 season for example. A poor season in the league but success came with a cup double.
The fans stuck with them all the way. We still had George Graeme in charge, still had Tony Adams, we had Ian Wright. We want people, players and managers that care.
Going in to the new season, we are seeing another shambolic transfer window.
The world knows we need defenders. What’s the point in signing Zaha when we have Iwobi and midfielders such as Smith-Rowe, Willock and give Maitland-Niles a go in his natural position.
If we have a low budget then why are we not trying to sign a Lewis Dunk, or Lascelles? No one can tell me that Mustafi would do a better job at the back. I understand that we have a potentially excellent defender in Rob Holding but we need solidarity in there as well. Spend the money on defenders, and give the younger lads, Arsenal boys through and through, a go this season.
You see Chelsea giving Mason Mount a new contract and appointing a club legend as manager. Let’s do the same. (although that’s circumstance rather than judgement).
The club need to reconnect with the supporters who are bemused by the running of our great club. Bring in someone like Vieira or Thierry Henry and scrap this so called revolution that is not working. Emery isn’t to blame. Wenger took the blame for everything and now we have a manager who tells us that we can only loan players, instead of saying that we are working hard to bring in the right type of player…. Which we were told every window when we signed very few top players.
We, as Arsenal fans, want Kroenke out. He treats our club and us with a lack of respect. All of a sudden Arsenal Football Club don’t care about their supporters? I like to see the appointment of Edu, a connection to the club. Reconnect, tell the fans the truth and start showing some true passion.
Matthew (Cockney in Kildare)
Parsimony be thy name, ENIC
Remember in the days following the CL final (which I am not sure you are aware Liverpool have now won six times) Fleets Street’s finest trumpeted how Poch was to be given a sizeable war chest to convince him to stay? And he wanted his new players in by the start of pre-season?
Looking forward to a defence of Davies/Vertonghen/Sanchez/Aurier ably backed up by Juan Foyth and Poch’s son.
Troy Deeney, on his summer holidays in the Breacon Beacons juggling boulders, must be worried.
Going well isn’t it?
David Harris, Sydney – currently enjoying the company of very bitter Australian cricket fans
Quitting my club
At what point do you say enough’s enough, and stop supporting your football club?
This season, I’m giving up on my club completely. It’s not difficult for me not to attend games – living 50-odd miles away and working shifts I only attend 2-3 games a season anyway – but I’m quitting everything. Muted/unfollowed anyone on Twitter likely to give me updates on matches/goings on, left various Whatsapp/Facebook groups relating to the club, and told friends of my stance whenever they try and bring it up in person. In short, my club is an ex I no longer want anything to do with.
You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this. Is the club not winning enough? Am I upset that a centre back went on strike? Are they spending too little/too much money? No. At the end of last season we hired a man as manager who has had several run-ins with fans of the club when he managed various teams against us. He epitomised losing badly, sour grapes and blaming everyone else for his team’s failings. He’s been pulled up for frequently abusing officials, fans and matchday staff. There’s also the whole convicted criminal aspect of things.
While Steve Evans is the figurehead of Gillingham FC, I won’t give them an iota of my support.
James Vortkamp-Tong, free agent, Brighton
Are there any tech minded people out there that can help me get Football Manager 2019 to run on my laptop? Seems Windows 10 and my Radeon graphics card can’t decide what the right drivers it needs are and it’s really frustrating.